Tour of Maryland Food Bank a Valuable Experience for Charlestown Dining Services Team

Chefs de Cuisine, managers learn more about partnership, mission

CATONSVILLE, MD---Since January, 2011, Charlestown, the Erickson Living retirement community in Catonsville, has been a proud partner of the Maryland Food Bank. To learn more about its operation and mission, staff members of the Charlestown Dining Services Department, led by Executive Chef Susan Seykoski, toured the headquarters of the Maryland Food Bank in Halethorpe in March. "Visiting the Maryland Food Bank was an impactful experience for our Chefs de Cuisine and restaurant managers," stated Larry Snowberger, Director of Dining Services at Charlestown.  "Everyone left with a better understanding of the needs of those served by the Maryland Food Bank and its innovative programs designed to end hunger in our state.  I would encourage everyone to do what they can to support this vital cause." The Charlestown contingent toured the 93,000 square foot warehouse and received a behind-the-scenes glimpse of FoodWorks, a community kitchen program in which donated food is prepared, quick-frozen and packaged for distribution.  FoodWorks is managed by a professional chef, Aida Blanco, and trainees are educated in nutrition and food handling for future job placement. In 2011, Charlestown donated approximately 4,000 pounds of food to the Maryland Food Bank.  Additionally, the community hired two cooks who graduated from FoodWorks. Its sister community, Oak Crest in Parkville, also partners with the Maryland Food Bank via weekly food donations. The mission of the Maryland Food Bank is to lead the movement and nurture the belief that together we can improve the lives of Marylanders by ending hunger. In Fiscal Year 2011, the Maryland Food Bank distributed more than 23 million pounds of food - the equivalent of 18 million meals.  It serves all of Maryland, except Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, which works with a similar organization in Washington, D.C. For more information on donation and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.mdfoodbank.org. About Charlestown: Charlestown, managed and developed by Erickson Living, is a retirement community that provides worry-free living for America's seniors-the country's fastest growing population segment.  Erickson Living's financial value and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind.  Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into our continuum of care, lead to demonstrated resident benefits.  A robust complement of resident programs and facilities promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average.  For more information, please visit www.ericksonliving.com.